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Investors, public to pay more as counties raise taxes and service charges

By Standard Team | November 4th 2013 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Standard Team

Kenya: The proposed Kiambu County Finance Bill 2013 that is currently before the County Assembly has caused uproar from various people, with many terming it bizarre.

However, the county, which is trying to raise revenue to fund its Sh13 billion budget, is not alone in coming up with the tax proposals.

Various counties across the country, including Nyeri, Kisumu and Embu, have joined the bandwagon in formulating proposals seeking to increase tax for residents in bid to meet budget shortfall. In Kiambu County, if the proposals become law, churches will cough Sh5,000 per day to hold crusades and other religious meetings on open air grounds.

A grave for an adult in a public cemetery will cost Sh4,500, children Sh3,000 and infants Sh2,500.

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Burial certificates will cost Sh8,000 for residents dying within the county, Sh10,000 for those dying outside the county and Sh25,000 for non-residents.

Acre of land

Besides the charges, families will be required to pay Sh30,000 every time maintenance work is undertaken on the graves in public cemeteries.

To excavate a grave, say in the event of a court order, families will pay Sh15,000 if the dead person was an adult, Sh10,000 for a child and Sh5,000 for an infant.

Slaughtering livestock in a slaughterhouse will attract Sh20 for a chicken, a goat Sh150 and a cow Sh400.

Farmers have not been spared either since cultivating an acre of land will make one pay Sh2,000 tax while cultivating half and quarter acres will attract Sh1,000 and Sh500 respectively. In Nyeri, the county government has recommended taxation of livestock wandering in towns.

Owners of livestock should keep their animals under lock and key or prepare to pay a hefty fine if they are captured wandering.

Speaking to The Standard, County Executive in-charge of Finance and Planning Martin Wamwea said they would charge a fee for capturing and impounding the animals. “The owner will pay depending on the size of the animals found wandering in towns,” he said.

The bill proposes that donkeys, cows and pigs be charged a fee of between Sh200 and Sh500.

It also proposes that goats and sheep be charged between Sh50 and Sh300.

Street hawkers

Wamwea said the loitering fee was aimed at discouraging people from letting their animals loose in urban centres, which is common in Ruring’u suburb that hosts donkeys, some of which cause traffic snarl ups on the Nyeri-Karatina Road.

The Nyeri County Finance Bill also intends to charge aircraft landing on airstrips within the county. Each plane will part with at least Sh3,000.

“It is a new sector and we want to ensure that we are fair. In future, we may review this fee but for now we will charge the aircraft depending on the number of seats the plane has,” Wamwea said.

Lovers of alcohol will also be forced to cough a little more, since manufacturers are also expected to be affected. There are plans to ensure that each manufacturer has a depot in the town, which is subject to inspection.

He explained that the move would allow them to inspect the depots and for every litre of alcohol, a company will pay Sh1 tax.

He said street hawkers should expect an increase in the fees they pay to the council.

“We want the traders to work from the markets and avoid the streets, hence the increase in fees by Sh30,” he said.

The county will also charge Sh80 for motorists parking in Mukurweini, Mweiga and Narumoru.

Things are not different in Embu, but County Finance Minister John Njiru said they are wary not to scare away investors while ensuring they attract new ones.

Embu seeks to double the cost of post-building approvals to ensure people comply with rules.

In Murang’a County, Governor Mwangi wa Iria said the Finance Bill is being concluded with an input from Members of the County Assembly.

“Murang’a Finance Bill 2013 will be friendly to the people since we have fully considered small-scale traders. Taxation is meant to support creation of wealth,” said the governor.

– Job Weru, Kamau Maichuhie, Lydiah Nyawira and Boniface Gikandi.

Kiambu County Finance Bill 2013 taxes
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